My post is late this week mostly because I have not been in the head-space to write a post I would be comfortable with by the time it hit your eyes. I’ve been keyed up all day and it only just hit me tonight why. (I’m coming at you live from Monday night.)
See, I collaborate with a few friends on a project that brings me a lot of energy and joy. A situation has recently come up where I have felt one way and a couple of my friends have felt very differently. I’m quite passionate about my stance, but a kind friend pointed out gently that for the sake of the group, this is probably a battle not worth fighting.
It wasn’t until my drive home that I realized how demanding I was of justice rather than mercy for some of the people involved in this project.
And then it all came together.
I’ve been feeling rather anxious for a while. I think you may be feeling some of this as well.
Watching my social media channels spiral farther and farther in to pits of cruel statements, thoughtless insults, guilt-laden tirades, I have been appalled by the behavior of so many friends and leaders. Disgusted is actually the word.
Many in my world I have highly respected have been spouting nasty sentiments across the internet for the sake of “biblical politics” and I am very ashamed of what I’ve witnessed.
And before anyone points fingers, let me set the record straight and say that this is from both sides. And my Christian friends—in general—have been much less forgiving than my friends who are not.
I have felt very disillusioned by the body of Christ as we have approached election day and I know I am part of the problem as much as anyone. For months, I think we’ve been asking where is the kindness and the reason? Where is the compassion and the decisions informed by love. These are all things that have been absent, yes, but it hit me on my drive this evening like lightening. Like God whapping me in the back of the head with a ruler (because that is sometimes what it takes.):
Grace was what I wasn’t calculating in with the work I do with my friends.
Grace is what we have been missing this election. The laying down of what I deserve for the sake of blessing my neighbor. The understanding that I may not be right, but God is in control and will make all right in his time no matter if my neighbor agrees with me or not. No matter if my country agrees with me or not. No matter if I trust my president or not.
It is by grace we are ruled. Grace is the currency in which we deal. So why has this been so absent from our discourse?
There are good people in every spot on the political spectrum. Image bearers with strong, passionate, and informed beliefs—beliefs that may be different from yours, but are just as important to them as yours are to you.
My sweet and wise friend sent me words I needed when I confessed how anxious I was feeling in my indecision over tomorrow:
“What needs to happen is repentance and people coming to the conclusion that our nation isn’t the church. You just have to do the best at what God has given you to do.”
Can we repent our lack of grace together? Can we walk into the polls tomorrow knowing that all we can do is vote in a way that demonstrates how we feel our country can best care for our neighbors given the choices before us? Can we respect that others in our body are just trying to do the same, even if it is not the choice we ourselves would make?
We do not have to answer for the decisions made by leaders above our station. They will. God will care for his people no matter what happens. There is no vote a child of God will cast tomorrow that is less “Christian” than any other.
Walk in grace. Show grace to a world that so desperately needs that. That’s what we have been supposed to be doing.
I think tomorrow is as good a chance as any to start.